The new spa carriage on the Belmond Royal Scotsman
The new spa carriage on the Belmond Royal Scotsman © Adam Parker


Belmond, the operator of luxury trains from Italy to Peru, is to introduce its first on-board spa, offering facials, manicures and massages on the move. From April 17, the spa carriage will be part of the Royal Scotsman as it makes journeys of between two and seven days, starting in Edinburgh and travelling through the Highlands. There are two treatment rooms in the carriage, both with picture windows (with frosted blinds that can be swiftly shut if the train stops at a station).

New York

TheWaldorf Astoria, New York
TheWaldorf Astoria, New York

The Waldorf Astoria, among the world’s most historic hotels, will close its doors at the end of next month for the first time since 1931. At one point the world’s tallest and largest hotel and a former home of Marilyn Monroe, it will be closed for at least two years for a major renovation. The property traces its roots to 1893, when millionaire businessman William Waldorf Astor opened the 13-story Waldorf hotel on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street. Four years later his cousin, John Jacob Astor, opened the Astoria next door, and the two properties, connected by a passageway, became the Waldorf-Astoria. The hotel was demolished in 1929 to make way for the Empire State building, reopening in 1931 on its current site on Park Avenue in a landmark 47-storey Art Deco building. Hilton, which acquired the hotel in 1949, sold it in 2014 to the Chinese insurance group Anbang for $1.95bn but will continue to manage the hotel once it reopens. Details of the renovation have yet to be announced but Anbang is expected to convert many of the 1,413-rooms into apartments. Rooms on the final night, February 28, are currently available from $528.


The number of internet searches for flights from Europe to the US “nosedived” on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration according to The Stamford-based travel company, which claims to be the leading global flight search engine, processing 1.5bn inquiries annually, said searches on its European websites were down 37 per cent on January 20 and 27 per cent the following day, compared with the January daily average up until that point.

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